If you are a food enthusiast, this is probably a familiar sight to you. I have stacks and stacks of food magazines, and this is just since January (and I think there are a few in the car and other places I haven’t discovered yet). I did a major purge last winter, recycling or donating anything that was more than a year old that I was no longer interested in. Pawning them off on friends, the library, and the recycle bin. But, the stack is starting to build up again so I decided I’d finally tackle a project that has been on my to-d0 for years. A recipe binder. And by that, really, I mean that I saw the cutest binder at Target and decided I might as well get started. Sometimes cute supplies help the motivation.
There are so many recipes to make and I’ll never get around to all of them, but I wanted to have a place to put recipes I’d like to make (but haven’t made yet) or that inspire me. This isn’t a recipe book in the sense that I’m putting my recipes or recipes I’ve made in it. That’s what the blog is for. It’s just to help cut down on the amount of space that magazines take up and make it easy to look through the recipes I’ve marked.
It’s really pretty simple, just tedious and time consuming. I figured that I can easily do a couple a day, especially since I dog ear the pages of interest when I read them. I just have to go back through and cut out the pages I marked.
- large binder
- magazines (duh)
- page protectors that fit in the binder
- scissors or an razorblade (i.e. X-Acto knife)
- dividers if you want to organize into sections (i.e. by magazine, course, type of food, etc.)
- Fill the binder with page protectors.
- Cut out the magazine pages you want to keep. I ended up using one blade from the scissors to slice down the page near the binding. I thought that was easier and cleaner than cutting.
- Fill the page protectors with the pages you’ve cut out. If you don’t need both sides of the page you’ve cut out (i.e. recipe is one-sided or has an ad on the back), insert another page on the other side of the first page so you have a front and a back to the page protector sheet.
- Once you’re caught up with the backlog of magazines you probably have, just keep up the maintenance by working as you get new magazines. Then, you can easily maintain this system for very little time each month.
- Optional - you can organize the recipes by category by adding dividers and labeling the4 sections. I am going to organize mine by magazine since often there are a main dish and dessert recipe on the same page. Also,right now any recipe that has to do with Feta or salads that would be good with feta on them will be in the same divider section. This way it will be easier to find recipes for my Athenos Feta project this month.
If you make a recipe and don’t like it, just take that page out of the protector and toss it (preferably in the recycle bin). If you have a blog, like me, make a recipe and love it – put it up on the blog. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to toss the pages with recipes I’ve made and liked or keep them in the binder. I guess it depends on how big the collection becomes and if I need to make space. What would you do? I don’t want to have too many binders because then that just becomes overwhelming. I’d like to keep it to 3 or fewer of the large binders like the one pictured here.
Bonus: Now that I’ve taken everything I care about out of the magazines, my kids have had fun cutting the magazines up for art projects or games. Free entertainment!